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Errors sink CHS baseball in loss to Chino Hills

Assistant baseball coach John Ellis has a mantra, of sorts that he repeats during the game: “Routine plays, played routinely,” which unfortunately was sorely missing Wednesday as Claremont High was soundly defeated by Chino Hills 11-2 at CHS.

A combination of eight errors and too many wild pitches by Claremont gave away what was otherwise a competitive game.

With nine hits, the Pack was just one hit shy of the Huskies and for much of the game Claremont was actually hitting better. Pitching was a similar story, Claremont sent four players to the mound who managed to get just four strikeouts, while giving up five walks. Chino Hills had a different pitcher almost every inning, undoubtedly to preserve the player’s arms for the upcoming league play, but still struck out six.

From the first inning the game’s theme was set in place as the Huskies scored twice on one hit and two errors. Claremont’s starting pitcher, sophomore Andrew Beauvais, was a bit off balance at first, but quickly found his footing and delivered on a couple of solid innings. 

In all fairness, Chino Hills fielded a quality team with some impressive offensive play.  Mike Rosales started the Huskies off with a RBI double in the first and added a single in the sixth that advanced runners to second and third. Jair Donovan had a solid fifth inning single and stolen base followed with a sixth inning two-RBI single.

Claremont kept the Huskies within reach until the fourth inning when Chris Chavez’ RBI double signaled the game’s turning point. The Pack had two outs and one on base when Chavez got his hit, which scored Aaron Sanchez from second. The Huskies got two more singles from Steven Ybarra, scoring Chavez from third, and Elijah Greene which loaded the bases. Claremont replaced Beauvais with sophomore Jack Noble to get them out of the inning, which he did, but not before a wild pitch scored one more run.

Outstanding base running and two runs from senior Cameron Dyar-Place were the rare bright spots for Claremont. Coach Ron LaChase put him in to pitch run after senior Cole Prentice singled in the fourth. He then stole second and scored on a single from junior Matt Hohn to break the Huskies shutout.

Dyar-Place got a soft fly single to start out the seventh, followed by hits from Nelson Steinert and Cory Smith, which scored Dyer-Place from second. Now with two runs, Claremont looked like they were going to rally after all when a single from Wyatt Coates loaded the bases with only one out. But a beautiful double play from the Huskies ended all hope.

“When you make eight physical errors, you don’t win too many baseball games whether it’s high school, college or big leagues,” said coach LaChase. “Our fourth game of the season was definitely our worst performance, mentally we didn’t play well physically we didn’t play well,” he added.

He was pleased with his pitching and hitting. “We are very young team, we had two sophomores and two juniors throw today. I understand they are going to make mistakes on the mound, we just did not give then any support today,” he said. “I like the output we have hitting, we are putting the ball in play.”

Coach LaChase also praised Dyar-Place’s performance: “He is a spark plug, anything a coach asks he does, when he gets fired up I notice a lot of the other guys get fired up too.”

The Pack, which is now 1-3, moves on to the Southern California Baseball Academy tournament this weekend.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com